Following discussions between staff, it was decided that a standardised format of homework given needed to be adopted. Parental feedback at Parent/Teacher meetings had shown there were some problems with the content and time being spent on homework by pupils, and the existing policy was due for review.
Rationale and Aims:
The philosophy of an Educate Together school is four pronged; it is a child-centered, democratically run, multi-denominational and co-educational school. Le Chéile seeks to enable each child to develop his or her potential within this context. Homework given will reflect this ethos where parental involvement is encouraged and stereotyping of content in cultural, social, religious or economic terms will not take place, as far as possible.
Homework fosters independence, self-reliance, self-esteem, co-operation and responsibility and life-long learning. It is an essential part of primary education as it reinforces what children learn in school. It provides a link between teacher and parent and encourages parental involvement in their child’s education.
In general, homework is meant to be achievable by a child on his/her own to the best of his/her ability. It is normally prepared by the teacher in class. It can be used to practice what is done in school or it can be designed to challenge children’s ability and provide opportunities for creativity.
Usually, homework contains a balance between reading tasks, learning tasks and written tasks. This balance is not always possible and can vary considerably from day to day. However, it should be noted that homework time devoted to reading and learning is as important as written work. Homework will regularly contain reading, writing, spellings, tables, written work, pieces to be “learned by heart”, drawing/colouring, collecting information/items and finishing work started in class. Children often feel that reading and “learning by heart” is not real homework. Parents can play an important role in listening to reading and items to be learned, ensuring work is well done.
Duration of Homework:
The following are guidelines for time spent at homework. Different children will complete the same homework in different lengths of time. Time spent will vary from day to day and also from the beginning to the end of the school year. It is important to remember that it is the quality and not the quantity of homework that matters. The following are the guidelines:
No written work. Sight vocabulary up to Christmas. Sight Vocabulary and reading after Christmas. To take no more than 15 minutes to complete.
Reading and one written activity. To take no more than 15 minutes to complete.
First and Second Classes:
Reading, Spellings and Tables. One written activity. To take no more than 30 minutes to complete.
Third and Fourth Classes:
Reading, Spellings and Tables. One written and one maths activity. To take no more than 45 minutes to complete.
Fifth and Sixth Classes:
Reading, Spellings and Tables as appropriate. Written and Maths or project activities at teacher’s discretion. To take no more than one hour to complete.
- Enter homework accurately in homework journal.
- Ensure they take home relevant books and copies.
- Complete homework assignments to the best of their ability.
- Present homework neatly.
Parent(s) / Guardian(s) should:
- Encourage a positive attitude towards homework in all subjects from an early age.
- Encourage children to work independently as far as possible and resist over-helping.
- Encourage children to organise themselves for homework, have all books and materials to hand and the pupil should have the Homework journal open to tick off work as it is completed.
- Agree a suitable time for doing homework taking into account the child’s age and the need for playtime, relaxation and family time.
- Provide a quiet place, suitable work surface, free from distractions, interruptions and T.V.
- Encourage good presentation and neatness within a reasonable time.
- Sign the Homework journal (1st to 6th classes) checking that all homework is completed and check the child has all the necessary books, Homework journal, copies, pencils, mathematical equipment, dictionary, P.E. clothes (if needed), for the next school day.
- Communicate difficulties with the teacher using the Homework journal.
- Set homework, review assignments and provide feedback to students.
- Monitor homework to help identify pupils with special difficulties.
- Differentiate homework for children with particular needs.
Monitoring of Homework:
Teachers should monitor homework on a daily basis. Some items of homework, particularly in Senior classes, may be checked by the children themselves, under the direction of the teacher. This can be a useful part of the learning process as it promotes responsibility and self-esteem.
When homework is not done, an explanation note is required by the teacher. If it is not done regularly, the teacher will contact the parent(s) or guardian(s) with a view to resolving the situation. If the situation continues, then the matter will be brought to the attention of the Principal who will contact the Parent(s) or Guardian(s) and arrange a meeting to discuss how the matter can be resolved.
In the event that a child is absent from school (sick, holidays, etc), there will be no homework set/sent home by teachers.
Original policy written September 2005
Reviewed November 2008
Updated December 2009
Date ratified by Board of Management: February 2010
Signed by Chairperson of Board of Management: February 2010